Collierville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen made history Monday night by officially naming the town’s 150-year-old park.
Board members voted unanimously to make Town Square Park the conclusive name of the 1.46-acre public space in the center of the historic district, something no previous administration had done.
The green area at 96 N. Center Street is officially outlined as a public park and has functioned as a such for more than 150 years.
However, recent research conducted by town staff indicated that the park was never given an official name.
“Recently,” said James Lewellen, town administrator, “there has been a question regarding the official name of the park.”
Historic maps of downtown refer to the area as a “park” and a “public square.” There are other unofficial monikers like Downtown Square Park, Fair on the Square Park, Historic Town Square Park and Confederate Park, which was adopted by various groups in 1940 when a granite marker was placed in the park.
The marker includes the verbiage “Confederate Park” within its inscription.
However, Lewellen noted that “anecdotal references do not constitute an official naming of the park.”
Creating an official name for town property requires an act by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and a town board has never formally established an official name for the space.
A handful of residents spoke Monday night before the board’s vote.
Collierville resident Lee Millar, a spokesman for the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, urged that the historic markers remain in place at the park.
“We need more educational items so that our citizens can appreciate the past,” he said.
Mayor Stan Joyner responded by reminding those in attendance that the current meeting was “not about markers.”
“That is a subject possibly for a future meeting,” he noted.